We’re just over a week away from Turkey Day and it’s time to start planning how you can make this year’s gathering one for the memory books for your family and friends. If you live in a place like we do that stays pretty temperate year round, it can be a great idea to host your meal outdoors.
An outdoor setup takes advantage of both your home’s indoor and outdoor space so that no one ends up feeling trapped in too-tight-quarters and everyone can feel free to stretch out and enjoy the nice autumn weather.
Here are a few ideas to consider if you’ll be hosting Thanksgiving this year at your place.
Decorate those picnic tables
For a sturdy table setup and one that allows for plenty of room for side dishes, the turkey, glassware and guests, consider renting picnic tables for the big day. Depending on your circumstances and family, one table is usually capable of accommodating between 4 – 6 adults comfortably. A quick Google search turns up plenty of party rental supply companies that offer rental services.
Once the tables arrive, you can add a little festive decorating by using table runners, local foliage or flowers, and candles to add a personalized touch.
Keep the food warm and insect-free
Plan in advance to have a separate table where you can arrange all of the food, drinks and side dishes. And remember, when you’re outside, the food will tend to cool down more quickly than when you’re inside the house because of the breeze.
To keep food warm, you could consider keeping the BBQ on the lowest setting and keeping the dishes on the grill with the grill lid closed between servings. Just remember to use ceramic dishes and pans that can withstand the sustained heat, and leave plenty of oven mitts nearby so that no one gets burned while dishing out their food.
To keep food not stored in the BBQ grill covered and safe from hungry pets and insects you’ll want to use food nets, dish tops and tin foil.
Plan for weather and shade structures
If you’re in a place that’s temperate enough for an outdoor dinner, you probably won’t need to worry too much about rain or inclement weather, but it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan just in case. In addition, even on cooler autumn days, the sun’s rays can be harsh and draining, so it’s important to plan for having an overhead tent or shade structure where people can gather and relax out of direct sunlight.
For homeowners with artificial grass, you can rent or buy shade sails to hang between trees over the eating or sitting areas. Those people with natural lawns have the option of using either shade sails or the standard shade tents that require four tent poles secured into the ground.
There are plenty of other ways to make your Thanksgiving as outdoor-friendly as possible, but we figured these three cover the first three things you’ll want to consider. If you do have a natural lawn and are considering making the switch to a more drought-friendly alternative lawn, be sure to check out our Easy Install DIY Guide to see what the switch might entail for your family.
Currently the State of California is offering homeowners cash back with turf removal rebates in exchange for switching out their lawns.